Immunotherapy refers to treatments based on the use of components of the immune system to fight tumours.

TAPCells® therapy was developed by the team led by Dr. Flavio Salazar, at the Anti-Tumor Immunology Laboratory (LIAT) of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile. Oncobiomed has the exclusive license to develop and distribute TAPCells® and is part of several research projects to continue generating technologies for the treatment of cancer, known as cellular immunotherapies..

TAPCells® is based on the stimulation of the patient’s own immune system, so that it reacts against the disease malignant cells.

A scientific and clinical team at Oncobiomed implemented this therapy and made it available for patients, positioning Chile as a regional leader in immunotherapy against cancer.


Unique in the world, this technology patented by University of Chile has been evaluated in phases I and II clinical trials, including hundreds of patients, succeeding in fighting skin cancer (melanoma), prostate, and other solid tumours, showing no adverse effects.

The results of this revolutionary treatment have been published in numerous high impact scientific journals, and have obtained patent rights in Chile, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Israel.

TAPCells® is based on the generation of tumour antigen-presenting cells (TAPCells®) from each patient’s white blood cells, which after being educated with various factors in a laboratory, are injected to the person as a vaccine, thereby triggering an anti-tumour immune response in the body.

1. A blood sample is taken from the patient through a process named leukoferesis, from which a monocyte-enriched cell concentrate is obtained.

2. The cell concentrate is processed in a high-security laboratory.

3. Monocytes are cultured for 72 hours with cytokines and a specific tumour cell extract for each cancer, enabling to direct the immune response against a given tumour.

4. Monocytes become antigen-presenting cells (TAPCells®) ready for clinical use.

5. TAPCells® doses are stored in the therapeutic kit.

6. The treating physician applies TAPCells® cell immunotherapy to the patient subcutaneously being integrated to the bloodstream to activate t-lymphocytes, thereby triggering an anti-tumour immune response.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is defined as a treatment based on the administration of immune factors capable of eliciting an immune response, such as vaccines.

As the concept has become common in the clinical market against cancer, it is necessary to distinguish between pseudo-immunotherapies and science-based therapies like TAPCells®, which has carried out clinical studies validated by the Bioethics Committee of the University of Chile; its results have been published in international scientific journals and its application authorised and administered by a medical oncologist according to clinical protocols.

Oncobiomed has treated more than 300 patients and the clinical results obtained show that over 60% of patients treated respond immunologically, live longer, the progression of the disease is significantly slower, and in certain cases, regression of the tumour has been observed.

TAPCells® is the only science-based cellular immunotherapy having University of Chile academic and clinical support, institution owning the intellectual property of the technology, of which Oncobiomed is licensee.

Our therapy has been evaluated in a phase I clinical trial and two phase II clinical trials performed in Chile, which results have been published in high impact scientific journals, such as Brit J. Cancer (2013), Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy (2013), Clinical Cancer Research (2011), Journal of Clinical Oncology (2009), Cytokine Growth Factor (2007), Immunobiology (2007), Clinical and Experimental Immunology (2005).

Besides, it has obtained the innovation patent in Chile, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Israel.

It is possible to treat Melanoma and Prostate cancer, apart from other types of cancer, exceptionally. It is an essential requirement that each patient should be admitted to a clinical committee of specialists that determines whether it is feasible and advisable to treat with TAPCells®.

Oncobiomed professionals have technical and scientific competences of the highest level. Patients are evaluated by specialists in oncology who prescribe the treatment if appropriate. A clinical team of specialists in immunology, haematology, oncology and urology evaluate more complex cases. Vaccines are prepared by biotechnologists and lab technicians who guarantee quality and inoculated by oncology nurses with vast experience in managing oncology patients. A scientific team of the University of Chile monitors technological developments.

Since 2001, over 300 patients have been treated.

TAPCells® is applied according to the legislation and regulations in force, which allow complimentary immunotherapeutic treatments under the supervision of a treating physician of the respective specialty, in this case a medical oncologist or a related field, like an immunologist or urologist.

The Public Health Institute (ISP, for its acronym in Spanish) has been informed about this technology, which “has become aware of the Immunotherapy Treatments being offered to patients with advanced cancer who have no other therapeutic alternatives, coming from two Research studies carried out at the Faculty of Medicine and Clinical Hospital of the University of Chile approved by the respective ethics committes”. (ISP April 11th, 2006).

TAPCells® does not produce side effects, except mild adverse events equivalent to a vaccine inoculation. It’s a complimentary adjuvant therapy based on the stimulation of the (natural) body immune response, therefore, this is not a drug that can harm or produce side effects to the patient.

TAPCells® production is carried out in accordance with standardised protocols in accredited laboratories for cell manipulation by professionals in the biology field.

Current evidence suggests that the combination of different therapeutic strategies produces the best results. Pharmacological inhibitors for tumour growth and antibodies against tumours are now available, besides standard treatments. According to the oncologist’s experience and to each patient’s situation, vaccines can be combined with most of them, not simultaneously, though.

As early as 2003, the scientific journal The Lancet highlighted the results of TAPCells® Phase I Clinical Trial. “It has shown the agent is safe and able to produce an anti-tumour immune response”. Read more.

International report of Research and Markets includes TAPCells® among featured immunotherapies, globally. “Additionally, a wide range of dendritic cell vaccines entered in different phases of clinical pipeline such as Vaccell in Japan, TAP Cells in Chile, MelCancerVac in North America and Rocapuldencel-T in US”. Read more.

On the other hand, Roots Analys identifies TAPCells as one of the main anti-tumour technologies based on dendritic cells in the world. ““In fact, two of the three marketed dendritic cell vaccines, PROVENGE® and TAPCells® (Chile), are approved for treatment of prostate cáncer”. Read more.

There isn’t a categorical answer, since as a disease, cancer includes a variety of manifestations. It’s influenced by the biological factor of each patient, type of cancer, medical and physical condition, age, among other factors, where early detection is highly important.

Even so, it is possible to cure cancer when combining different strategies to fight it. For some types of tumours, there are therapies that succeed in eradicating them, while for others preventive measures have become effective control weapons.

In this way, cure for cancer is possible, but there are no standard treatments producing positive results in all patients, due to the individual nature of this disease.

Some pseudo-therapeutic alternatives are traded in the market using the nomenclature “immunotherapy”. Unfortunately, they do not show scientific data, neither published papers nor support from any research centre, like TAPCells®, which is the result of more than 15 years of work together with University of Chile. They do not show projects backed up by State organisms supporting science-based research or innovation, such as ANID, FONDEF or CORFO, either.